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Old 06-15-2013, 07:53 AM   #4
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Wasatch county
Oddometer: 722
The sandhills of western Nebraska are a huge area of stabilized dunes, about 250 miles across from west to east. It can't be farmed so it is cattle country. The Ogallala aquifer underneath is very shallow so every low spot is a pond or lake. Waterfowl are everywhere. Besides the highways that run north to south, there are many primitive roads thru the sand, and a few good gravel roads with some sections of oiled road. Being solo on a big bike I stuck to the gravel. This is the route I took.

I spent a day making my way to the McKelvie National Forest near Valentine.

Lots of reptiles

When I was doing my research on this area, I saw a road extending from hwy 61 NE to the McKelvie NF that was labeled as primitive but looked wide and therefore possibly improved on google maps satellite view. This was the Carver ranch road. It was good gravel for about 20 miles. But then it started to get soft. The ranchers cover some of the sand roads with hay to keep from getting stuck, like this...

It was like riding on a mattress. Eventually it went thru a gate into the front yard of a ranch house. What continued out the back was an overgrown sandy 2-track. While I stood there thinking about what to do, a woman pulled up in a pickup. She said it was 8 miles of sand and nobody had been back there for years as far as she knew. I decided to turn around and find a different way.

Near the Niobrara River I cut over to the Eli road that would take me to the NF.

Coffee time self-portrait. I even found a quonset with a well to refill my water.

After riding thru the open Sandhills all day, you suddenly come upon a pine forest.

Camp for the night at the steer creek CG.

I got a little rain that night. And woke up to turkeys gobbling.

ALinUTAH is offline   Reply With Quote